STATE PRESS RELEASE follows; Midway Mayor Grayson Vandegrift says the exact location of the factory will depend on geotechnical work recently ordered by the Woodford County Economic Development Authority, which owns the property. EDA Chair John Soper said, "The geo-tech is in on all 80 acres and all of it is suitable for construction, therefore, geotechnical is not an issue on any of the I-1 [industrially zoned] land. The company will most likely purchase 12-15 acres and may option up to an additional like amount. The total I-1 available was 80 acres. Remember this is not a done deal yet. This was a very significant starting point and I fully expect it will go forward; however, till a purchase contract is signed we won’t take anything for granted and will continue to assist AHK in making a very important decision not only for them but for Midway and Woodford County."
American Howa Kentucky also is eligible to receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network. Through the Kentucky Skills Network, companies are eligible to receive no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job training incentives. Last year, the Kentucky Skills Network trained more than 84,000 employees from more than 5,600 Kentucky companies.
Bowling Green-based American Howa Kentucky Inc. (AHK), a manufacturer of interior products for the automotive industry, will create 54 full-time jobs through an investment of more than $13.1 million in a new facility in Midway, Gov. Steve Beshear announced today.
“The automotive industry is a major factor in the success of Kentucky’s economy,” Gov. Beshear said. “With that, so too are the automotive suppliers who ensure the industry thrives in the Commonwealth. Auto manufacturers and suppliers contribute more than $6 billion in payroll to Kentucky workers annually. With announcements like American Howa Kentucky’s, we know that figure will continue to climb.”
The construction of a 60,000-square-foot facility in Midway Station Industrial Park will allow AHK to supply the nearby Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky facility in Georgetown with headliners for the Toyota Camry.
“We are grateful and excited to announce that American Howa Kentucky will build a manufacturing plant in the industrial park at Midway,” said Hirosato Nanami, president of American Howa Kentucky. “We chose the Midway site due to the commitment from state and local officials and incentives which made Midway the obvious choice.”
AHK currently operates one Kentucky facility in Bowling Green, employing 179 full-time workers. That facility produces dash insulators, sunshades, headliners and other automotive interior products.
The company announced that facility in 2007 and expanded it in late 2008, adding 24 jobs, and grew it again in 2011, adding 86 jobs and 56,000 square feet to the 138,000-square-foot facility.
The Bowling Green facility already plays a role in Kentucky’s automotive-related success.
In 2014, approximately 20 percent of Kentucky’s announced new investment and new jobs came from motor vehicle-related products. The Commonwealth is home to more than 470 automotive facilities employing nearly 86,000 people. While automotive jobs have declined by 26 percent nationally since 1990, Kentucky’s automotive workforce has grown by 72 percent.
“I welcome American Howa Kentucky to Midway and the economic impact that it will have on the area and the state,” said Sen. Julian M. Carroll, of Frankfort. “We have a skilled and dedicated workforce ready to fill the new jobs the company will create. I look forward to their success well into the future.”
“American Howa Kentucky is a great addition to Midway and offers an exciting opportunity with 54 new full-time jobs,” said Rep. James Kay, of Versailles. “The company has already seen great success in the Commonwealth and I look forward to seeing its growth continue with this new location.”
“On behalf of our city, I am pleased to welcome American Howa Kentucky to Midway, Kentucky,” said Midway Mayor Grayson Vandegrift. “We are very appreciative of the confidence that they’ve shown in our workforce and business community. We appreciate the Cabinet for Economic Development’s assistance in expediting this project and look forward to a long-term corporate relationship with AHK.”
“This is a great day for the citizens of Woodford County, and we welcome American Howa Kentucky to our corporate family,” said Woodford County Judge-Executive John Coyle. “This project will bring needed manufacturing jobs to our community and tax base which allows us to better serve our citizens. Thank you Gov. Beshear, Cabinet for Economic Development and Woodford EDA, who guided this project through completion.”
To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $900,000 through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the agreement term.
Additionally, AHK was preliminarily approved by KEDFA for $300,000 in tax incentives through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act (KEIA). KEIA allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development and electronic processing equipment.